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SNC meets Lavrov in Moscow (Guardian)
SNC meets Lavrov in Moscow (Guardian)

SNC: No change in Russian stance on Syria

(DP-News - agencies)

MOSCOW- A delegation from the Syrian National Council met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday with the aim of pushing Russia to accept President Bashar al-Assad's ouster as part of a political transition in Syria.

The Syrian National Council (SNC) leader of a Syrian opposition group says that after talks with Russia's foreign minister he sees "no change" in Moscow's stance toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The exiled SNC group's new leader, Abdelbaset Sieda, called the Syrian conflict a "revolution in the direct sense of the word" and recommended "intervention by the U.N." to bring a halt to the violence.



"The events in Syria are not disagreements between the opposition and the government but a revolution," Sayda told Lavrov, whose country has seen itself cast as the last protector of its Arab ally, Syria.

In turn, Burhan Ghalioun, SNC executive committee member and its former chief, told reporters after the meeting "We have not seen a development in the Russian position. I was here one year ago and the position has not changed,"



For his part and underlining the gulf between the SNC and Moscow, Lavrov said Russia wanted to understand in the talks if there were "prospects" of the opposition groups uniting and joining a platform for dialogue with the Syrian government.



On Tuesday, Moscow proposed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria that would extend the UN observer mission in the country without any threat of sanctions, diplomats in New York said.



Russia is President al-Assad's main ally apart from Iran and has fiercely resisted international action against the Damascus government as proposed by Washington and European powers.

Moscow has repeatedly said President Bashar al-Assad's fate is up to the Syrian people and defied calls by the West and the SNC to urge him to step down.

Russia has also insisted that any political transition have the consent of both President al-Assad's government and the opposition.



Earlier this week, another delegation of Syrian opposition had visited Moscow for same goal.

Syrian dissent Michel Kilo, who heads the Democratic Forum opposition group, said that he hopes Russia will play a positive role in “finding a peaceful solution to our crisis.”



Activists say more than 17,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011.

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